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Haven: Call of the King

Developer: Traveller's Tales | Publisher: Midway
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 11/17/02 | Genre: Platform

When writing a review for a game, I look for innovation. Truthfully, I mark games down for being blatant copycats. The biggest exception to this rule is Haven: Call of the King. Haven just does not do things you have already seen, it does EVERYTHING you have already seen. Once Midway’s action/adventure gem boots in your PS2, be prepared to use everything you have ever learned in video games.

Leading a slave rebellion and awakening a lost king is hard work. To help you thwart an evil dictator, Haven draws upon almost every general video game genre, and plays them off rather well. The basics of the game are of the action/adventure platforming ilk, but the additional gameplay elements, such as boat racing, rail shooting and flying are seamlessly integrated in Haven’s world. Very rarely is a certain scenario repeated, and when it is, there is a new twist on it.

Now, I’m not particularly a graphics freak (I played through the N64 atrocity Aidyn Chronicles with my sanity intact), so I cannot fathom any possible way of coming down on Haven. Considering just how many blended scenarios work together so well here, Haven’s graphics are good! In some cases, over 1,000 characters can be displayed on-screen at once for a flocking effect (read: bugs).

Haven is quite possibly the most fun you can have all at once for your Playstation 2. It simply cannot compete with say, Sly Cooper, but it is still very enjoyable. My biggest complaint is that Haven’s weapon, a yo-yo of sorts, is incredibly difficult to aim. Worse yet, it’s very easy to misjudge just how far it goes, often resulting in lost health. After about an hour or so with the game, it’s a forgivable shortcoming.

Platforming fanatics, this is your game. All this crazy, varied fun starts up almost immediately and you don’t have to put up with any time-wasting tutorials! Woo hoo! You’ll be on the edge of your seat, waiting for what happens next... not to mention what you’ll be doing next.

By Craig Lupienski - 01/10/03
ESRB Details: Mild Violence
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Screenshots for Haven: Call of the King

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